Letter about San Francisco
Mar 04, 2011
A brother (Tim) and I had just returned from the Tenderloin of San Francisco, where my heart had become so vexed by what I saw there that near the end of this trip I started to demand in spirit that something be done (by God) to help the poor people there. It apparently sounded to Tim like I was upbraiding God in prayer, so I assured him then that God had put a tremendous cry in my heart to see deliverance come to the people on those streets and I felt that I needed to be completely honest and open with Him about what I was feeling.
Tim tried his best then to comfort me with "God is in control, Dave," but I felt led to tell him then that we as "Christians" don't pray as we ought to in certain situations, that we often pray like spiritual wimps when "fervent and effectual prayer" is really needed. This is saying that sometimes we need to COMMAND in the spirit realm what we KNOW to be God's will on earth. Jesus is the One who taught us to pray in this way; to knock and knock and knock and demand/command (in the spirit) what we know to be the will of Father, and do this until we see results! (or feel a release).
Anyway, on this particular trip to San Francisco I felt as though I had been eating "lamentations, mourning, and woe" for days on end and I just couldn't take any more of it. I later realized that God was working in this way to teach me (and others by extension) about the fervent and effectual prayer that takes both a genuine cry in our hearts and the faith to believe that our cry WILL be heard on High.
This particular S.F. trip was unusual for me in that I was brought to a point where I just couldn't bear any longer the sight of the things that we were seeing there. This brought a cry forth from my guts that had such a ferocity to it that even I was a bit shocked by what I heard come out of my mouth. On a street corner and with tears streaming down my face, out of my innermost deep came forth, "Oh, God!!! How long are you going to look down on all of this and not do something about it?!! I know that it's NOT Your will for elderly and mentally ill people to be abandoned on the streets where they sit for days and days in their own urine and feces talking to themselves! My God! I know that it's NOT Your will for beautiful young girls to be abused as little children to then be turned to the streets where they become heroin junkies and disease ridden old prostitutes! Oh, God! How long can You bear to look at this? If I can't stand to look at it any more, How can You?! I know that IT IS NOT Your will for pushers and drug dealers to operate so freely here that almost an entire city community has now become addicted to their junk, doomed to walk these filthy streets day and night like utterly insane zombies doing whatever they can to get money so that they can get another fix of heroin or another rock of crack cocaine!! Dear, God!! Please help!! WHEN are You going to rend the heavens and come down and deal with this awful mess?!!! Please Lord, HELP!!!!"
I then got a strong sense by the Spirit that God was teaching me something about guttural cries that lead to fervent and effectual prayer. I knew also then that my prayers were heard on High, though I also knew that He (for reasons I don't understand) might be longsuffering in answering them. Though I didn't see it immediately, I knew then that the day would not be far off when the precious souls that I was praying for would see divine deliverance. I KNEW then that many of them would sometime (and probably even soon) see the SALVATION of their God, for THAT IS the will of their Father!
Now, I haven't been back to San Francisco in what is probably a couple of years now, but it (S.F.) is coming up on a daily basis now, so I suspect that I will probably be going back there soon (perhaps to follow through on some things that were prayed for a couple of years ago?). We'll see.
Dr. Stephen Jones